Freezing in Frankfurt

The defending Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world champion Daniela Ryf was obviously disappointed that she had to pull out of the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt yesterday. The easy-going Swiss star attended the press conference last night after the race and was in good spirits despite her disappointment.

| July 4, 2016 | PERSONALITY

Daniela Ryf bike Frankfurt

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Daniela Ryf might be fitter than she thinks. The Swiss superstar has been riding an impressive unbeaten streak for almost two years now, but had to pull out of yesterday’s Ironman European Championship early in the bike because of hypothermia. She had come into the race saying that she was just getting into her training build up for the summer season, but looked incredibly fit none the less.  

“That was quite cold,” she said in an interview after the race. “I was frozen to my bones, which isn’t very nice. It took me a while to recover – I went back to the hotel and had a shower and a coffee and a bit of a rest, then went to the gym and had a bit of a session. I am happy to have recovered. Of course I would have rather showed the workout on the stage today.”

Ryf still needs to validate her Kona slot, which means she’ll have to finish another Ironman at some point over the next couple of months. Which one she’ll do remains up in the air.

“I’ll have a talk with my coach (Brett Sutton),” she said. “We’ll discuss it in a quiet time. The plan, for now, is not really changing. I’ll head back tomorrow for St. Moritz. The main focus now is to work on my fitness, of course. I still want to get some miles in, then we’ll see if we do Zurich or another race to get that validation. It’s not exactly the situation I was hoping for – I was really excited for this race and felt OK. I was kind of excited to see where I was at, so that’s a bit of a shame. I’m not so happy with that. We’ll make the best out of it. At least I am healthy now.

“I guess the fitter you get the more advantage you have when it’s hot and that’s probably what I felt today,” she continued. “In the water it was more the arms. They were just frozen to the bones. I am a bit annoyed with myself – I could have put arm warmers on for the bike, which is a bit of a regret now, I wish I did.”

A set of arm warmers probably wouldn’t have made much difference. Even by 5 km on the bike Ryf was reduced to a slow-motion crawl on as she struggled to warm up after the swim. It was an ironic development since last year’s race, which she won in record time, featured record-setting high temperatures. This year’s forecast was for a warmer day, too.

Daniela Ryf  | Daniela Ryf asks cameraman Lennart Klocke for his jacket.

Daniela Ryf asks cameraman Lennart Klocke for his jacket.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

“I didn’t bring that many warm clothes -that’s another lesson learned for Ironman,” she said. “No matter what the weather suggests, bring your cap and gloves.”

Despite it all Ryf remained in good spirits about her misfortune.

“I always thought I was a cool chick, but now I’m starting to realize I might be a hot chick,” she joked.